With robots becoming closer to humans in recent years, human-friendly robots made of soft materials provide a new line of research interests. We designed and developed a soft robot that can move via self-deformation toward the practical application of monitoring children and the elderly on a daily basis. The robot’s structure was built out of flexible frames, which are bending-type pneumatic artificial muscles (BPAMs). We first provide a description and discussion on the nature of BPAM, followed by static characteristics experiment. Although the BPAM theoretical model shares a similar tendency with the experimental results, the actual BPAMs moved along the depth direction. We then proposed and demonstrated an effective locomotion method for the robot and calculated its locomotion speed by measuring its drive time and movement distance. Our results confirmed the reasonability of the robot’s speed for monitoring children and the elderly. Nevertheless, during the demonstration, some BPAMs were bent sharply by other activated BPAMs as the robot was driving, leaving a little damage on these BPAMs. This will be addressed in our future work.
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